Brian J. Blackford
Attorney at Law
Brian J. Blackford specializes in immigration law. He has dedicated his career to advocacy for the rights of immigrants in the courtroom and in the community. Brian represents clients with a wide variety of immigration issues and, notably, successfully represents detained and other immigrants with complicated charges of deportation resulting from criminal convictions. He also assists clients with their criminal defense, family law, and probate needs, often as part of a broader strategy for obtaining immigration benefits. Brian possesses the breadth of knowledge, experience and creativity to analyze the unique facts and issues at play in each case, and the work ethic and drive to devise solutions to fit each individual's specialized needs. Outside of the courtroom, Brian serves on the board of directors of a refugee resettlement agency and in many leadership positions within legal organizations.
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (includes the Board of Immigration Appeals and all immigration courts), 2008
- Nebraska, 2008
- United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, 2008
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2010
- Iowa, 2014
Creighton University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2008
- Certificates of Concentration in International and Comparative Law, Litigation, and Criminal Law and Procedure
- CALI Excellence for the Future Award: Trial Practice
- Conflict resolution training program with the State of Nebraska's Office of Dispute Resolution
Creighton University, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy, magna cum laude, 2005
- Intern, United States House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Notable Cases and Press
- Argued successfully at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, on behalf of client who had been deported to Guatemala, to remand case to the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider a motion to reopen a deportation order, resulting in the return of the client to the United States to be reunited with his family. This is the only petition for review on such a motion to reopen granted by the Eighth Circuit since 2008 and only the second since 2001. This client is now a lawful permanent resident.
- Argued successfully for a remand before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, on behalf of a client who, through prior counsel, had an application for lawful permanent residency denied by the Immigration Court and Board of Immigration Appeals for allegedly being a persecutor of others. This client is now able to reapply for lawful permanent residency.
- Obtained approval of Nebraska’s first same-sex marriage based visa petition and lawful permanent residency case.
- Argued successfully that a client's prior marriage was bona fide despite Government allegations of marriage fraud and multiple attempts to strip him of his lawful permanent residency for over 14 years. This client was able to retain his lawful permanent residency.
- Was granted a motion to terminate proceedings for a client with four criminal-related charges of deportation including two aggravated felonies. This client was able to retain his lawful permanent residency.
- Argued successfully for reopening of a client’s 24-year-old deportation order at the Board of Immigration Appeals after three prior immigration attorneys could not. This client is now a lawful permanent resident.
- Successfully argued numerous motions to reopen and rescind removal and deportation orders including those that resulted in the return of multiple clients to the U.S. following deportation and subsequent grants of lawful permanent residency.
- Successfully argued numerous applications for asylum, cancellation of removal, and NACARA that resulted in clients being granted lawful permanent residency.
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison for the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter, 2014 - present
- Chair of the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter, 2016 - 2017
- Vice-Chair of the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter, 2015 - 2016
- National Pro Bono Service Committee, 2015 - 2016
- National ICE Liaison Committee (multiple meetings with the Principal Legal Advisor for ICE and Liaison Committee members in Washington, D.C. to discuss policy), 2013 - 2014
- National Consumer Protection and Unauthorized Practice of Law Action Committee, 2012 - 2014
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Liaison for the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter, 2010 - 2014
- Nebraska Immigration Reform Advocacy Liaison for the Iowa-Nebraska Chapter, 2013 - 2014
- Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA)
- House of Delegates, District 4 (Douglas County)
- Immigration Law Section Executive Committee
- Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA)
- Refugee Empowerment Center (REC)
- Board of Directors
- Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NHCC)
- Governance Committee
- Presenter, 2017 NSBA Annual Meeting, "Recent Changes and Updates in Immigration Law for Practitioners," La Vista, Nebraska
- Presenter, 2017 Iowa-Nebraska AILA Chapter Conference, "Closing the Door on Proceedings: Evaluating Administrative Closure Pursuant to Matter of Avetisyan and Matter of W-Y-U-," Des Moines, Iowa
- Presenter, 2017 AILA Annual Conference, "Introduction to Crimmigration," New Orleans, Louisiana
- Presenter, 2015 Iowa-Nebraska AILA Chapter Conference, "PD/Johnson Memo," University of Iowa College of Law
- Presenter, 2015 Nebraska Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "Civil Rights and Nebraska Legislative Bill 403 (2009)," Omaha, Nebraska
- Presenter, 2015 Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Community Forum, "DACA and Nebraska Legislative Bill 623 (2015)," Columbus, Nebraska
- Panel Moderator, 2014 Iowa-Nebraska AILA Chapter Conference, “Crimmigration/Hot Topics in Removal,” Omaha, Nebraska
- Presenter, 2014 NSBA Annual Meeting, "Ethical Issues Relating to the Immigration Status of Individuals, Rights of Third Persons Under Rule 3-504.4, and Eligibility for Government Services (LB 403)," La Vista, Nebraska
- Presenter, 2013 Pro Bono Detainee Project, "Immigration 101 and Model Hearing: A Training For Pro Bono Attorneys," Creighton University School of Law
- Presenter, Know Your Rights and other immigration law presentations at the Mexican Consulate in Omaha, various churches and schools across Nebraska and Iowa, and the Douglas County (Nebraska) Department of Corrections
A legacy of freedom-fighting and forward-thinking.
Brian's family traces its beginnings in America to the meat packing plants of South Omaha and Chicago, the coal mines of Pennsylvania and Iowa, and farming communities throughout the United States. They aided slaves in their escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad and were active in government and public service. His relatives fled war and internal struggle in their homelands, and some obtained refugee status following the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, to make better lives for their families.
Blackford Law LLC is proud to honor this legacy by fighting to give all people the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.